I’ve been mostly focusing on my father’s maternal line of late. They lived in Kincardine county in Scotland (near Aberdeen). When my four-times-great grandmother, Margaret Webster died in 1823, she was buried in the graveyard at Durris, a parish within Kincardineshire. 1 Her burial record notes that she was from the parish of Nether Banchory (also known as Banchory Devenick). Her son, James, was baptized four days prior to her burial, in Banchory Devenick. 2 Margaret and her husband, George Rust (also known as Roust), then lived at Bishopston, according to that record. Durris’ graveyard is about 8 miles as the crow flies from Bishopston, where Banchory Devenick is about 2.5 miles away.3
Why was Margaret buried in Durris instead of closer to home?
The monument that bears Margaret’s name lists many family members, but was clearly erected in 1832 after the death of George’s namesake, his son by his second wife, Mary Beattie, died at the age of 8. 6 The inscription is as follows:
1832Transcribed by author from photo by FindAGrave.com user GariochGraver
GEORGE ROUST, farmer in Bishopstown
In Memory of
GEORGE ROUST his Son
Who departed this life the 28th of July 1832
Aged 8 Years
Also his Spouse MARGARET WEBSTER
Who died 1823 Aged 42
BARBRA their Daughter who died
12th August 1837 aged 17
And MARY died 27th June 1845 aged 19.
Also the Said GEORGE ROUST
Who died 25th Jan’y 1864 aged 87 years
Also his Wife MARY BEATTIE who
died 19th Nov’r 1868 aged 69 years
Poor baby James is not mentioned outside of the burial records.
The inscription contains a lot of information, but what it implies is even more interesting. First off, I wonder if the money to pay for the inscription came from Mary Beattie’s family, since George (the younger) was the first of her children to pass, and it seems like the others were just added to his inscription. But Mary Beattie’s family seems to have lived in the parish of Maryculter (between Banchory Devenick and Durris), so they did not have a particular connection to this parish. 7
Secondly, although the elder George is recorded here as a farmer in Bishopstown, he was living in Charlestown by the time of the 1841 census (and until his death). 8 Charlestown is another two miles further from Durris (approximately 10 miles total) in the parish of Nigg, but he was still buried in Durris.
Banchory Devenick’s church is about 2.5 miles from Bishopston. All the baptisms for George’s children were recorded there. 9 George, however, was baptised in Durris. 10 As were both his parents. 11 My suspicion is that there’s a family association with Durris.
It is also possible that they were making a choice to avoid the Banchory Devenick churchyard. According to one report, many interred there wound up as cadavers for Aberdeen medical students. 12 Or perhaps the mortcloth rental was more expensive there?
I guess I’ve identified a new research question: what’s the deal with Durris?
Visit Amy Johnson Crow’s website for more information on 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.
- “Old Parish Registers Deaths,” database and images, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ : accessed 17 March 2019), image, Margaret Webster, Durris, 23 October 1823; citing reference no. 256/ 20 223 Durris.
- “Old Parish Registers Births,” database and images, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ : accessed 17 April 2019) ,imaged certificate, James Rust, Banchory Devenick, 19 October 1823; citing reference no. 251/ 30 12 Banchory Devenick.
- Measured using the National Library of Scotland’s Geo-Referenced Map and the six-inch 1888-1913 Ordnance Survey
- “Old Parish Registers Deaths,” database and images, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ : accessed 17 March 2019), image, James Roust, Durris, 10 November 1823; citing reference no. 256/ 20 223 Durris.
- “Statutory Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages,” website, National Records of Scotland (https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/research/guides/birth-death-and-marriage-records/statutory-registers-of-births-deaths-and-marriages : accessed 23 March 2019).
- Find A Grave, Memorials (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/160773112/margaret-roust : accessed 20 April 2019), Margaret Webster Roust, Durris Kirkyard, 1823.
- “Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950,” database, Ancestry.com (Ancestry.com : accessed 18 April 2019), Mary Beattie, 24 Feb 1799, Maryculter, Kincardine, Scotland; FHL Film Number: 993321.
- “1841 Census,” database and images, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ : accessed 20 July 2018), image, George Rust, age 60, Nigg, Kincardineshire; citing reference no. 266/ 5/ 1.
- “Old Parish Registers Births,” database and images, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ : accessed 17 April 2019), imaged certificate, William Rust, Banchory Devenick, 12 June 1814; citing reference no. 251/ 10 306 Banchory Devenick.
Also Isobel Rust, 15 May 1817; Barbara Rust, 14 March 1820; George Rust,
22 May 1825; Mary Rust, 8 July 1826. Note: no baptismal records have yet been found for Jane Rust, 1813.
- “Parish registers for Durris, 1716-1854,” database and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/63011 : downloaded 15 March 2019), imaged register, Register of Baptisms, Rust, 21 July 1775; citing “Church of Scotland. Parish Church of Durris (Kincardineshire),” reference no. 256/1.
- “Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950,” database, Ancestry.com (Ancestry.com : accessed 18 April 2019), James Rust, 04 Apr 1742, Durris, Kincardine, Scotland; FHL Film Number: 993321. Also Ann Hunter, 23 Dec 1746.
- Ella Hill Burton Rodger, Aberdeen Doctors: At Home and Abroad, the Narrative of a Medical School (William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London : 1893), 226.